Wednesday, October 26

Our Christmas Plans

With the end of October looming and the Christmas displays already popping up in the shops, I though I would share our Christmas plans for this year. This years Christmas has been in the planning since around February- now don't think we are crazy to have thought of it so far ahead. This year instead of heading back to Scotland like we normally would we are heading to a cottage near Durham with the In-Laws. It will be the first Christmas that we will have spent with my Brother-in-law and his wife and we are very excited to get away for 2 weeks with them. James' parents will also be joining us for some of it.

We are very much looking forward to long winter walks in the countryside with the dogs and sitting with hot chocolate or mulled wine in front of the log fire, Christmas music playing in the background. Whilst we are there we won't have any internet which for a family of youtube/Peppa Pig/Facebook addicts will be interesting. I am hoping some time away from our electronics will be a good time to refresh ourselves and really spend good quality time with each other.

We are planning on taking packs of cards and board games with us so we can keep ourselves entertained. You really can't beat a good card game when there is some wine involved. We will also be heading into Durham for a day and hopefully into Newcastle too to get some shopping done.

Nothing beats a good Christmas spent with family and we are certainly all excited for ours this year! I will be sharing more of our plans in the upcoming weeks including our menu plan and the Chritsmas Eve hamper that I am putting together. If you have any requests on what you would like to see send them across.

What are your plans this year?

Monday, October 24

Our Weekly Meal Plan

After a pretty busy weekend, we are hoping for a much quieter week ahead. This week for our meal plan I am going to have the slow cooker out more and more and trying to prep ahead of time so that when James walks in from work at 5:30pm dinner is ready to go! It also means I will have more time for housework and playing with Ailsa.

Monday- Harrisa Chiken and Roast Butternut Squash

Tuesday- Sweet Potato and Carrot Rosti with poached eggs

Wednesday- Beef Stew

Thursday- Salmon and Salad

Friday- Spagetti Bolognaise

Friday, October 21

A Letter: To My Friend Who Is A New Mum

Dear Friend,

First of all a huge congratulations on your beautiful little baby. There is nothing more special than holding that tiny little person that grew inside you in your arms and looking down on their sweet milk drunk face. So many people will have something to tell you about having a new baby, lot's of people will have well meaning advice for you and some of it you will want to listen to but some of it really won't fit with how you choose to parent and that is OK, We all have our own way of doing things and I am not here to tell you what to do or how to do it. There is so much I want to tell you though about being a new mum, things you most likely already know but it's good to hear from someone else, such as do try and rest when you can especially if you have been up all night and also not to stress the little things. Having a new baby is challenging and I am sure you will have your ups and down's just like we all do.

We all have bad days, days where we want to hide in the bathroom and have a good old cry- I cried over a steak pie when Ailsa was a few days old- damn hormones. But where we have bad days we also have amazing days, When all seems to be running smoothly, baby naps well, they may have slept longer through the night, the house is clean and tidy and you are well fed and well rested  just as baby is. You will have days when your in 2 day old pyjamas, hair unwashed and smelling a little funky and then there will be days when your showered, hair washed and blow dried, a fabulous outfit on and make up all done and you will feel like you can take on the world and look like you have your shit together. It's all swings and roundabouts as a new mum.

The newborn weeks don't last very long at all and as much as they are special and you should take in as much as you can ( take lots of photos and videos) your little one will grow and as they do they will develop new skills and they are oh so amazing to watch. You will see your little one discover their hands, their feet and their voice. They will learn to roll over, sit up, crawl and walk. Although I am only 18 months ahead of you, I just know of the wonderful time you have to come experiencing such a magical time of learning and discovery of both your child and yourself.

Enjoy the time ahead of you. Take in what you can, learn and grow from every day. Know that you will have bad days and you will have good days, know that most of us mummy's are losing our shit from sleep deprivation or toddler tantrums at some point most days. But most of all trust your instincts you are that little one's mum and you and your partner are the only ones who can make decisions for them as you know them best. Just know you are a fantastic mummy and don't ever doubt that.

I am always here for you.

Your Friend


Wednesday, October 19

A Trip To Bristol Zoo

Just last week we took Ailsa on her first ever Zoo trip. James had taken a couple of days annual leave and we wanted to make the most of it. Luckily the weather was kind to us and although it was slightly on the chilly side it was dry and made for a very good day out. We live roughly 45 minutes from Bristol Zoo and it was fairly easy to get to by car through Bristol City Centre. There were plenty of sign posts and our SatNav got us there in great time. We found the Car Park easily and the parking attendants were so pleasant and helpful, parking cost £3 which I think is very reasonable for a city centre attraction.

Entry to the Zoo cost £17 each for James and I and Ailsa being under 2 was free. We found this to be a really reasonable price compared to some of the other local attractions which are upwards of £30 for a day ticket. Once we had paid for our tickets and had been given a map we were straight out into the Zoo and looking straight into the first of the animal enclosures, The Flamingos, such eye catching birds. Ailsa was enthralled by them and next door were some very friendly Babbons which included a tiny little baby one, who can resist a cute little baby of any species.

Next up we headed over to the Lion enclosure. Bristol Zoo has a Lion feeding experience and we were very lucky that at the time we were there a lady was feeding them and that we got to see them up close. They are such magnificent creatures and Ailsa was absolutely taken aback  and I am so glad I captured her face when she saw them.

The Zoo was really easy to navigate around, Ailsa mostly walked but we took the pram in with us to give her a rest at times. Everywhere we went Ailsa could easily walk around and it was easy enough to get the pram around too. The times she was in the pram we found having her facing forward was easiest for her to see everything and all of the exhibits were very pram and wheelchair friendly.

We didn't make any of the animal enclosure talks but whilst going around some of the more open enclosure such as the Lemurs and the Wallabies we got to speak to a couple of the Zoo Keepers and they were very knowledgeable about the animals, explaining their behavious and answering the questions we had about them. I was particularly curious about the Lemur who was tandem feeding her twin babies. We did make it to the Mini Creatures talk where Ailsa got to meet a Corn Snake and some Cockroaches. There were two lovely gentlemen giving the talk and brought the animals up close so we could see them and Ailsa even got to touch the Cockroach- I wasn't a fan as I don't really like creepy crawlies at all.

For lunch we headed to the Coral Cafe, at first look we thought the prices were quite high but after getting our meals- the portion sizes were fantastic and compared to a meal out somewhere was definitely worth the money. I had the Soup and a Sandwhich deal which was £6 and James had a Hot Pork Roll and Chips and we had 2 soft drinks each and cost us around £18 in total. We didn't get Ailsa an individual meal as she doesn't eat a huge amount and she shared ours. If you would rather take a picnic there were plenty of spots around the Zoo where you could pitch up and quite happily eat.

Whilst wandering around the Zoo we used the baby care facilities for a nappy change for Ailsa and found it to be clean and warm. There were two comfy chairs with footrests which would be a perfect spot to relax and feed a baby if you preferred somewhere quiet and out the way. There was also a nice play park at the Zoo which we didn't get the chance to make use of but most definitely will next time we are there.

We had such a fantastic day out at Bristol Zoo and we are already planning our next trip back, most likely at some point in the new year with our family when they are down to visit us next year. I would most definitely recommend it for a well priced day out if your in the area.

*I was not compensated at all to write this review and all opinions are my own. 

** Bristol Zoo are offering you the chance to help name their new baby Pygmy Hippo you can vote through their Facebook Page- Bristol Zoo Gardens. I have made my vote!

The images below are courtesy of Bristol Zoo


Monday, October 17

Our Weekly Meal Plan

After being completely out of any routine last week, I am very much looking forward to getting back into the swing of things this week. I love knowing what I am going to be cooking each day and it really does make life much easier when a plan s in place.

Monday- Sausage Casserole

Tuesday- Chicken and Veg Tray Bake

Wednesday- Burgers

Thursday- Baked Sweet Potato

Friday- Coronation Chicken baguettes and salad

Monday, October 10

Our Weekly Meal Plan

Welcome to week 2 of my October challenge and my second meal plan of the month. This week is a bit more thrown together than other weeks as James is off for 2 days at the start of the week and we will be heading out for the days and my lovely friend is visiting us at the end of the week so we may have a cheeky take-away. Last week we really managed to stick to our meal plan and actually had lots of leftovers from our Thai Green Curry so that lasted us 2 meals each, I love it when that happens. So here is our weeks meal plan.

Monday- Roast Chicken and veg

Tuesday- Mondays leftovers

Wednesday- Baked sweet potato with Tuna and sweetcorn

Thursday- Pizza or Takeaway

Friday- To be decided


Thursday, October 6

A Park Trip With Aldi #Mamiadaysout

If you have seen my Instagram feed then you will know that we are quite partial to a trip to the park. Only a 10 minute walk from our house and with a nice play park and a duck pond we are there most days, Ailsa loves to take a walk down there and gets so excited the closer we get. Now that she is walking I take her backpack out as a changing bag which isn't all that big. When Aldi got in touch to ask if we would like to try out their 100% organic baby food range I jumped at the chance, being big fans of Aldi I was very much looking forward to Ailsa trying out their products. They very kindly sent us this amazing hamper full of wonderful products for us to try.

For me I love being able to throw nappies, wipes and snacks into Ailsa's bag and get out the door as quickly as possible before she throws a massive tantrum because she has been waiting too long. With Aldi's handy pouches and bags of snacks I can chuck them straight in the bag from the cupboard and go, knowing that I have something nutritious and organic for her to snack on, on the go. With prices starting from just 59p it isn't such a big deal if she squeezes half a pouch down her which is quite a common occurrence (Must remember clean clothes next time!!).

Ailsa had such a great time at the park, talking to the ducks and playing basketball with some of our friends and their kids. She certainly worked up an appetite for her fruit pouch and some rice cakes. Even though Ailsa has been completely Baby Led Weaned the fruit pouches make the perfect snack, she can feed herself and it is just like making a yummy smoothie at home (not going to lie I quite enjoyed a little of it too). She has thoroughly enjoyed the flavours that she has tried so far and is a huge fan of rice cakes- the perfect non messy snack to keep them going whilst you get around the shops.

We will certainly be stocking up next time we are in Aldi, all ready for our next park trip.

This post is an entry for BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia. < >
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